I am Thirteen

About Kurian C. Thayil

Kurian Cyriac is a creative consultant by day and an independent artist by night. He has explored various turfs in the media industry and currently works with clients/companies in building their brand. He has a strong passion for arts & creative writing. You can know more about him from his website

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“06:59” flickers to “07:00” on a digital clock and buzzes a beeping alarm.  A hand of little Nairuk, aged thirteen, finds the table, hits the clock turning it off. He then pulls his hand back into his bed sheet and goes back to slumber. His mother tries to wake him up, gently shrugging his bed-sheet cocooned body with one hand and carefully balancing a mug filled with milk with the other. After continuous efforts of shrugging Nairuk to wake up, his mom finally succeeds by pulling him right upright on his bed. Nairuk wipes his eyes as he drinks from his mug. His mother sets his hair with her hand. He smiles back at his mother.
Nairuk goes to his bathroom, brushes his teeth, turns on the shower and jitters in cold while bathing. He puts on a shirt, wears a school tie and has his breakfast in hurry. He –- stands near the gate in front of his house where he waits for the school bus. Soon, the bus arrives opening its door right where he stands. Nairuk waves “bye” to his mom and boards the bus, carrying with him his lunch box and a bag hanging from his shoulders.
At school, Nairuk struggles to concentrate in his class. He is rather busy looking around for anything else that interests him. After school, he runs around the field playing football with his small group of friends. When his match comes to an end, he hurries towards the school bus which takes him home.
Nairuk’s mother opens the door as he constantly presses the door-bell. Nairuk heads towards the television set, throwing away his bag and his lunch box on the couch. He sits watching his favorite cartoon show on television. Later in the evening, mother forces him to do his home-work. After studying, Nairuk eats his dinner, goes to his room and crawls onto his bed. His mother follows him, and tucks him in his bed sheet. She kisses his forehead as his eyes slowly close.
The day ends really fast. Nairuk falls into deep sleep preparing for another day.


The next morning, Nairuk is woken up by a sound. No, not an alarm from his table clock, but the sound of a shutter door. Nairuk immediately opens his eyes wide; this time waking up from his dream. He looks around to find his actual home. This – in reality – is a garage, surrounded by tools and machineries which are covered with dust and other unclean garage props. He rests for a while sitting upright, grasping every moment of the dream he had, trying to collage a memory of a life he could never have.
He feels a sting of burn, which he is accustomed to, as his back is slapped hard by the garage owner ordering to begin work. He prepares himself quickly by washing his stained face and wearing a shirt greased like a lab coat. He hears a bus approaching and peeks from a broken window towards a house adjacent to the garage. A boy of his age, clad in school uniform, wearing a bag and holding a lunch box, boards the bus. The boy’s mother stands at the gate watching her son going to school. As the bus leaves, she goes back into her house. Nairuk goes back to work, wishing and wondering how life would have been different if he was “that boy”.
Their lives seemed separated only by a few steps!


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4 Response Comments

  • Saurabh Sinha08/08/2016 at 10:22 AM

    A hard hitting topic conveyed in the most simplest of manner. Story leaves you with pain and a feeling to do something for the society

    • Kurian Cyriac Thayil02/09/2016 at 12:16 PM

      Hey Saurabh!

      Thank your for such an overwhelming feedback. I am glad you felt that way.


  • Akshay Singh24/08/2016 at 1:07 PM

    Loved it ! Beautifully narrated story.. Kudos to the writer Kurian.

    • KuriousBeing15/10/2016 at 11:09 AM

      Thank you so much Akshay! Cheers!

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